Trust by Design

The Beautiful Behaviors of an Effective Church Culture

By Amy Valdez Barker Published
Paperback image ISBN: 9781501842443 $14.99 Buy
eBook image ISBN: 9781501842450 $14.99 Buy
Building trust is essential for the leader to succeed in the ministry to which God has called them.

Trust is a bankable asset for leaders who direct, shape, and guide faith communities. Trust is a form of equity that fuels attitudes, behaviors, and actions in faith communities who aim to transform the world.  Through a process of self-examination into the behaviors and actions that help build or break trust, leaders can step boldly into ministry where God is sending them.

This guide to building trust as an asset is practical and analytical. The concepts are supported by anecdotes and stories, so that the reader is invited to share or journal with their own experiences. The book will level the playing field, so that a small group of church leaders can engage together as peers (lay and clergy) within their particular faith community.  This book is useful for pastors and staff teams, the personnel committee, the administrative board or church council, and youth leaders.


Trust by Design offers both a remarkably comprehensive and stunningly simple diagnosis of our world: at the core of its brokenness is a lack of trust. Amy Valdez Barker reminds us that rebuilding that trust in our relationships, churches, and communities is the critical mission of our time. Doing so is not easy, but this book points the way.”
—Magrey R. deVega, Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist Church, Tampa, FL

“Amy Valdez Barker is heartsick. She’s mystified and impatient. Humble, inquisitive, and insightful, she’s also expectant and confident. Amy’s sure that we want to and ought to do better—to be better. What’s holding us back?
     In the pages of Trust by Design, Valdez Barker is on a mission. She invites us to adopt a deep yearning and genuine hope as we apply straightforward methods to build layers of trust—the kind of trust that reinvigorates our vision, emboldens our aspirations, enriches our relationships, and helps shape loving and just places to work and live. Cogently illuminating the interplay of theological, psychological, and sociological elements, she presents a blueprint that helps us visualize our own capacity to reimagine, reclaim, and radiate trust. Step-by-step we participate in a persuasive and nuanced examination of more than a cliché. We affirm the power and necessity of trust, repent of the practices that degrade it, and discover surefooted pathways for building and sustaining the underpinnings of rich and rewarding collaboration and friendships.
     Trust by Design is not a volume for your shelf; it’s a thoughtful, insightful, accessible, and convincing roadmap that can lead you—and all of us—to do something wonderful. “
—Neil M. Alexander, President and Publisher Emeritus, United Methodist Publishing House


“In a world where trust is eroding rapidly in government, institutions, and even the church, Dr. Barker bravely names a way forward. Our ability to trust God’s goodness and  grace is tempered by our relationships with others! Through dynamic scholarship, deep biblical reflection, honest sharing, and practical advice, she supports the Christian calling to trust God and also restore trust in one another. Amy’s faith shines through every page as she offers leaders practical ideas on how to rebuild trust for the sake of the church’s mission. We recommend this ‘must read’ for anyone who is in ministry or is part of a faith community today.”
—Terence Corkin and Julia Kuhn Wallace, authors of The Church Guide to Making Decisions Together and the blog

About the Author

Amy Valdez Barker

Amy Valdez Barker is the director of global mission connections for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Previously she was lead executive for the Connectional Table, which coordinates the mission, ministries, and programs of The United Methodist Church.  As an ordained deacon from the North Georgia Conference, she was project manager for the 2012 Vital Churches Initiative.  She earned a doctorate in Christian education and congregational studies.  She is the author with her husband of 365 Devotions for Couples, published by Abingdon Press.